Relishing Change: Synthia R. Jaramillo
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
Director of Economic Development for the City of Albuquerque, NM,
Synthia R. Jaramillo is changing a traditional environment into a
forward-thinking enterprise, looking beyond Albuquerque’s
existing opportunities for businesses and the community.
With 16, 511 minority-owned businesses in Albuquerque, according
to 2012 U.S. Census Data, Jaramillo remains committed to drive not only
the city’s economy but be the voice of Hispanics and Latinos.
During Jaramillo’s tenure at the organization, enormous change has
happened. Appointed by Mayor Tim Keller in 2017, she is the first woman
to lead the department. In her time as Director, she has led several
initiatives to aid businesses in creating jobs in Albuquerque. Under her
leadership companies such as Netflix and NBCUniversal have chosen to
expand into Albuquerque. A champion of small and local business, she
created the Small Business Advocacy Office to offer resources and support
to Albuquerque’s small businesses and created a $1 million workforce
training program called Job Training Albuquerque.
“I am very fortunate to work for a Mayor that realizes that equity
should always be at the forefront and understands and believes that his
cabinet should reflect the community,” shares Jaramillo.
Overseeing the recruitment and retention of companies, International
Trade Office, Small Business Office, Film Office, and Albuquerque’s Tourism
entities, Jaramillo created and launched the city’s first Small Business
Advocacy Office. She has also created and launched Job Training
Albuquerque, a program for employers to skill-up their workforce and for
employees to gain high-demand skills and industry-specific certifications.
Developed a Strategic Workforce and Small Business Recruitment Plan.
For Jaramillo, economic growth in Albuquerque is critical to making
and keeping Albuquerque strong. “According to several data points
Albuquerque is behind the rest of the United States in income growth for
everyone,” she shares. “Our families deserve better. They deserve access
to good-paying jobs and if they are running their own businesses,
they deserve access to incentive programs. Turning these trends around
and fulfilling the cities’ enormous potential is and will always be at the
forefront. My approach has always been and will always be rooted in the
principles of equity and we know that the strongest economies are those
that prioritize equitable growth to create jobs for all walks of life.”
From job creation, to industry diversification, to increasing tax
revenue, Jaramillo’s goal is to improve the quality of life for everyone in
Albuquerque by improving the economy.
For Jaramillo, success didn’t come easy. It meant a lot of hard work,
long hours, and fighting the good fight.
Today she credits her mentors, Loretta Armenta and Linda Alvarado,
President & CEO, Alvarado Construction, for being an instrumental and
invaluable part of her career. She recounts the story of when Loretta hired
her at the age of 21 regardless of her informal education. “She was a
reflection of what I had hoped to be in the future and had a huge influence
in my life,” she shares.
Synthia R. Jaramillo.
2015 Fundraising event.
Synthia Jaramillo and Patricia Chavez at USHCC, 2019.
16 www. lat inastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol . 26, No. 3, 2020